Portuguese Slang, Insults, & Swear Words (You Probably Don’t Need to Know)

Do you need to know Portuguese slang or swear words? Probably not, but you will come across quite a few of these words as you learn Portuguese.

Fixe

Pronounced as feesh (almost sounding like fish), fixe means cool or nice and it’s a word you’ll commonly hear in European Portuguese (Brazilians use the word “legal” instead).

  • Está-se fixe: it’s cool.
  • Tá-se fixe: cool

Top

Top means great just like ótimo.

  • Este bar é top: this bar is great.

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Giro/gira 

Giro (masculine) or gira (feminine) means pretty or cute. Fofo and fofa are also used.

  • Ele é giro: He’s cute.
  • Era bem fofo: It was really cute.

Bué

Bué means a lot, and it basically means a lot or very. It’s commonly used with the word fixe.

  • É bué fixe: it’s very cool

Tuga 

Typical tugas statues

Tuga is slang for a typical Portuguese person (a Portuga). This used to be a derogatory that was mainly used in the former Portuguese African colonies, but is a word that the Portuguese have decided to own.  

Pá is a commonly used slang word. It’s usually put on the end of a sentence to mean man. It’s easy to remember because it sounds like pal, which in some English-speaking countries is added onto the end of a sentence.

  • Não tenho problemas contigo, pá: I don’t have a problem with you, man

Merda

Merda literally means shit although depending how it’s used it can mean fuck. It’s commonly used in Portugal, and isn’t really considered that offensive. 

  • Merda: Shit, fuck, crap.
  • Um problema de merda: A fucking problem.
  • Que merda é esta?: What the fuck is this?

Gajo/Tipo

Gajo and tipo are two commonly used words which mean guy (or dude if you’re American).

  • Há um gajo: there’s this guy.

Caralho

Literally caralho means cock or dick, but it’s often used to mean fuck instead. Vai pró caralho, for example, literally means go to dick, but probably would translate better as go fuck yourself.

Often you’ll see “de caralho” after a word and it’s essentially the same as adding the word fucking before it. É do caralho, for example, means it’s fucking hard. You can also say é fodido or é uma foda. Basically, the Portuguese have a lot of expressions for how fucking hard things are.  

Foder

Foder meaning “to fuck” is a word that you’ll often hear in Portugal, usually when someone is telling you to go fuck yourself.

Fodido means fucked, and normally it’s used to say that something is fucked. It comes from the verb foder.

  • Vai-te foder: Go fuck yourself.
  • Vão se foder: Fuck you.
  • Está fódido: It’s fucked.

Porra

Porra is another word meaning fuck and one that comes up often.

  • Fique em casa, porra: Stay the fuck home.

Words for dick

There are a lot of different words for dick in Portuguese. Here are just a few:

  • Piço 
  • Caralho
  • Pila

Words for pussy

Similarly, there are several slang words for pussy in Portuguese.

  • Xaroca
  • Pachaça
  • Pêssego
  • Cona (similar to cunt, so quite offensive).

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo means go suck on the 5th leg of a horse. It’s probably something you’ll never hear, but it’s so poetic it had to be included.

As to whether anyone actually says this, that depends on who you ask. There is a similar expression, vai mamar na cona da tia, which is a lot more offensive but maybe more suitable if there are no horses nearby. 

Puta

Puta means whore. 

Filho da puta

Filho de puta means “son of a whore,” “son of a bitch,” or “motherfucker”. Basically, it’s an insult against the other person’s mother. While you can call someone a filho da puta in a jokey way, it’s very offensive if it’s not in a fun context.

Weirdly, puto is slang for boy (and not considered offensive).

  • Aquele filho da puta: That son of a bitch.

Cabrão

Cabrão means asshole or bastard. 

  • És um cabrão: you’re an asshole.

Paneleiro

The English equivalent of paneleiro would be something like fag or queer. It’s not a very nice or politically correct term, but one that you might come across. 

Brazil famously uses the word bicha to mean queer whereas that means a queue or line in Portugal. In Brazil, they use the word fila.

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41 thoughts on “Portuguese Slang, Insults, & Swear Words (You Probably Don’t Need to Know)”

  1. The word Caralho actually mean Crow’s Nest, like on a ship. If the captain would tell you Va pro Caralho, that was the worst job on the ship, which then transformed into an insult.

    Reply
  2. Táss cuul, no one uses that in Portugal and you don’t write it like that.
    You would write it like this:
    “Está-se cool” or in slang “tá-se cool”.
    But they would probably say:
    “Está-se fixe” or in slang “tá-se fixe”.

    Pissa or pisso, meaning cock is also not written like that.
    You wrote it like this:
    Piça or piço.

    Reply
  3. My mum is from Madeira and I hear her use ‘caramba’ a lot, I don’t even know if I’ve spelt it right, but I’ve looked it up online and it means damn. I’m still not really sure

    Reply
  4. Having an argument over the Portuguese word pumba, for a lack of better words dose it mean dick or ass?

    Please help me settle this dispute.

    Reply
  5. my mom always used to tell me to “scenta habo” when i was a kid . i think it meant to go warm your ass up by sitting over there. is that right?

    Reply
  6. Hi
    In Brazilian Portuguese, bicha is queer ( homosexual men ). It s not used to insult a woman.
    In Portuguese of Portugal, bicha is queue ( fila ).
    By the way “ pica “ in Portugal is injection ( medicament aplied with a syringe ) and in Brazilian Portuguese is dick..

    Reply
    • I’ve seen it used in the same way in Portugal. I don’t know for sure, but I think the Brazilian meaning is becoming more widespread.

      It can also mean a queue, but I think it’s safer to use the word “fila” because of the double meaning of the word bicha.

      Hopefully a Portuguese person can comment and explain this better?

      Reply
      • In Portugal “Bicha” does mean a queue. They would understand the Brazilian version, but would more likely say “bichinha” instead to differentiate. It’s being reappropriate by the gay community to mean “Twink” or a more flamboyant person.

        Reply
        • I am of Azorean heritage. In the Azores, they speak an “archaic” version of European Portuguese (some might call the dialect trashy), and I grew up in a New England city where a lot of Azorean people immigrated. I grew up thinking “porra” meant “damn” too, until a Portuguese person I worked with got very insulted when I used the word, and later told me it meant “cum”. Another word I grew up with that I don’t see mentioned here was “pumba” which was slang for penis. My grandmother used it a lot when I was a child, kind of like the way you might refer to a child’s penis when speaking to a boy in English as their “wee-wee”. However, kids and teens would use it too, but more along the lines of the equivalent to cock or dick.

          Reply
          • Hey Eric,

            Thanks for sharing! I need to give this list a big update as a lot of people have been sharing new words with me 🙂

            Reply
          • Porra doesn’t mean “cum”, it means Damn.
            Spórra means cum.
            Pumba doesn’t mean penis and sometimes people use it, but rarely.
            Ex: pumba já apanhou no focinho. (pumba he got hit in the face)
            Pumba já caiu das escadas abaixo. (pumba He fell down the stairs)

            Reply
          • Eric, I grew up near Fall Reev 😉 and heard my grandparents saying what sounded like “ay koo deesh.” Do you know what it means? They wouldn’t tell us!

            Reply

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